What are church teachings on homosexuality and lesbian relationships?

Fundamental church teachings on these issues are actually different from what most of us imagine. This article will cover teachings of the Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church.

Episcopal Church

In 1976, the General Convention of the former declared that gay people were children of God. The love, pastoral concern and care, and acceptance of the Church were guaranteed to them just like they were to all other members of the church. The church says faithful Episcopalians have been making efforts toward greater inclusion and understanding of all of God’s children.

 The Episcopal Church has attracted lots of attention along the way, but it has never stopped making efforts toward the full inclusion of LGBT believers, not least thanks to organizations such as Integrity USA.

People of all genders and to all genders can be married in the Episcopal Church after church canons were changed to accommodate this in 2015. The Church had authorized a provisional rite of blessing for gay and lesbian relationships three years earlier. They even have an openly gay bishop, who was consecrated in 2003.

Catholic Church

The Gospels contain church teaching at their most basic level, more specifically in the revelation of the Father’s love in Jesus Christ. Fundamentally, the Catholic Church believes God loves gay and lesbian people. They are His beloved children, created by Him, and need His mercy and loving care just like everyone else.

The Church states that in his public acts, Jesus always reached out to people who felt excluded, ignored, or marginalized, which is how many LGBT people who are also Catholic feel. In practice, this community is perhaps the most marginalized one in the Catholic Church today.

The building blocks of all church teachings are the Gospel values of mercy, love, and compassion when it comes to gays and lesbians and their relationships.

Does the Church restrict same-sex activity? According to the catechism, homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law” and “intrinsically disordered.” It would follow that the Church believes homosexual orientation is disordered objectively. Simply being homosexual is not a sin, but performing an act is, so it would seem the Church is being quite hypocritical here. It is not church teaching that being gay or lesbian is a sin. This isn’t stated anywhere in the catechism. As mental health professionals will agree, we are born with our sexual orientation; we don’t choose it.